My experience with Charlotte Tire in Charlotte, MI, a subsidiary of Albion Tire City - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > Four Wheeling Forums > Wheelin' Neighborhood > Great Lakes USA > Michigan Jeep Forum > My experience with Charlotte Tire in Charlotte, MI, a subsidiary of Albion Tire City

FS: Jeep Fog Light LED Bulbs! Several Brightness Options! Nitro Gear Packages Now Available at Rockridge 4wdGear Packages Available! Your # 1 Diff Shop is ROCKRIDGE 4

Reply
Unread 11-07-2012, 07:23 PM   #1
Jason
Registered User
2005 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Eaton Rapids, Michigan
Posts: 6,369
My experience with Charlotte Tire in Charlotte, MI, a subsidiary of Albion Tire City

This is a greatly abbreviated version of my experience with Charlotte Tire in Charlotte, MI, a subsidiary of Albion Tire City in Albion, MI while returning my Mickey Thompson ATZ Plus tires under warranty. Based on this experience, I would not recommend purchasing from this company. Charlotte Tire is sometime referred to by local folks by it's former name, Geldhof Tire.

I've chosen to be as brief as possible to describe my situation. I've updated events as they've occurred in our other thread, but I wanted to break it out to its own thread, as things tend to get buried over there. If anyone has any questions or comments, feel free to add them here. If you read this whole thing, you have my thanks and congratulations.

This spring when I pulled my Jeep out of storage, it was about time to rotate the tires as I had about 8K miles on them. When I did, I had the beginning of death wobble. There was a consistent wobble at 55 MPH or so, and a bump would set off full on DW.

Figuring the tires just needed to be balanced, I took the tires to Discount Tire on the west side of Lansing. (These guys have been top notch during the whole experience. I highly recommend them.) The reason I choose Discount is because they have a road force balance machine.

Over the summer, I had Discount balance the tires on 4 different occasions. They tried road force, spin balance, static, dynamic balance to correct the wobble. No matter what balance they tried or what position the tires were in, the shimmy never went away, and was always right around 55 MPH. It varied based on the balance they tried and the position of the tires (front, rear, etc.) but it never went away fully. I probably rotated the tires a dozen different times trying different combinations to get rid of the issue. Keep in mind we're not talking about bias-ply super swampers here; they were all-terrains that barely measured over 32".

I finally took it back to the store I bought them from, Charlotte Tire, because I wanted to replace the tires under warranty. This was in August. They wanted a shot at balancing them. They then drove my Jeep to verify the wobble was still there. The suggested a replacement steering stabilizer, which didnít need replacing. They then suggested a DUAL stabilizer, so I explained than any stabilizer isnít necessary. (Anyone who knows the first thing about Jeep steering should know this suggestion alone shows their lack of knowledge.)

By spinning the balance machine slowly, the showed me the lateral imbalance in the tire. You could look down the sidewall while it was spinning and see the tire move left and right while the rim spun true. Before they returned them for warrantee, they wanted me to buy another set of tires to prove that the issue wasn't with my Jeep. I instead, to their agreement, brought it over with a set of old (but well balanced) roller tires on it. They drove it again and of course the wobble was gone with the roller tires on it.

I called several times because each time they were supposed to get back to me, they never did. After several weeks, they offered me $300 for the set of tires. I refused, since I paid over $1000 for these things 8K miles ago. They gave me a real "**** you" attitude about the whole thing and simply refused to do anything better.

I called the manufacture directly. I explained the situation, and they indicated that they retailer should send the tire back to them. I called the retailer and requested them sent back. They had no logical explanation why this wasn't offered in the first place when I questioned them.

On October 8, I finally heard (after I made several follow up calls, of course) that they would issue a refund of a bit over $600 and I should see a check in a week or so. On Oct 25, I called to follow up because I'd seen nothing. They indicated it would be a few more weeks.

I got curious so I called the manufacture to see what the refund amount was and when it was issued. They indicated that they needed the return number from the retailer. So I called the retailer and asked for the return number. The guy I had been working with got real pissed that I was asking for it and said the return "was none of my business." I asked for his distributor's phone number to call myself, and he wouldn't give that either. He was upset that I didn't trust him after he "went out of his way for me," and told me not to call them again. No, really, he said that. Not only do they have terrible customer relation skills, this guy is even delusional. He has done less than nothing to help me with this situation and only acted when prompted by me.

So I called the manufacture back with the above update, and they called the retailer. The manufacture was able to obtain the refund info and confirmed it was in line with what they refunded, and the check should be mailed early this week. He gave me the owner's number to call if necessary.

I haven't seen the check yet.

All that being said, Discount Tire on the west side of Lansing has been great through this whole ordeal. These guys were very patient trying to get these tires balanced, and gave me a decent deal on a new set of tires because of all the crap I went through with my old ones, even though they didn't originally sell them to me. THAT'S customer service. Mickey Thompson was great too. They dealt with the unreasonable retailer when they didn't really have to. I didn't buy Mickey Thompson tires again this time, but I wouldn't hesitate to again because they stood behind their product, and really went the extra mile when they didn't have to.

I spent the whole summer unable to drive my Jeep, which I worked so hard and spent so much money on, because of this issue. I choose to support local businesses when possible, but I will never spend another dime in this shop, and I encourage others to do the same. Over these past few months, I've shared my experience with Charlotte Tire with as many people as possible. A few people won't be purchasing from them because of my issues with them. Iíll continue to tell my story to anyone willing to listen.

Jason is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-07-2012, 07:32 PM   #2
YoureverydayXJ
Registered User
2000 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: , Michigan
Posts: 1,948
Glad you made the official writeup.
Your whole experience was total BS, and I'll be sure to avoid them.
__________________
'00 XJ not quite there...
YoureverydayXJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-07-2012, 07:35 PM   #3
Jason
Registered User
2005 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Eaton Rapids, Michigan
Posts: 6,369
Quote:
Originally Posted by YoureverydayXJ View Post
Glad you made the official writeup.
Your whole experience was total BS, and I'll be sure to avoid them.
Thanks man. Tell your friends.
Jason is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2012, 11:56 AM   #4
Jason
Registered User
2005 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Eaton Rapids, Michigan
Posts: 6,369
I got my refund check today. I was just getting my notes together to call the owner. I ran my bills out to the mailbox (in the same pile of crap on my desk) and the check was there.

Note, when the manufacture contacted them, they promised to issue the refund "early" last week. If you figure early being Mon, Tue or even Wed to be generous, the check should have been written on 11/7 at the latest. The check was dated 11/12, postmarked 11/13, and in my mailbox on 11/14.

Yet another delay in a long history of lies.
Jason is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2012, 12:26 PM   #5
richsandwich
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 197
When you took your jeep out of storage? Was the dw there when you put it away? Did you store the vehicle with the tires off the ground? Possible you negligence in properly taking care of the tires in the first place was a cause of all your headaches? I'm not saying that business wasn't a bunch of d**ks but let's stop and think of the cause of all this!
richsandwich is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2012, 12:59 PM   #6
Jason
Registered User
2005 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Eaton Rapids, Michigan
Posts: 6,369
No DW or other issue when I put it up for the prior winter, or any other year in the past. The 35" MTRs that replaced the faulty tires do not exhibit DW either. I assume you are implying the tires could have flat spotted over the winter with the weight of the Jeep on them stationary for 5 months or so. The tires were removed for most of the last winter because I was regearing the axles, so the weight of the Jeep wasn't on them for the entire winter.

There was no uneven or abnormal wear on the tires indicating abuse or neglect. I measured 3/32 tread used on the rears, and 2/32 used on the front tires when I returned them. Negligence on my part simply didn't occur.

I assure you I've had lots of time to ponder possible causes of these issues, as I've been dealing with this since April. Two other sets of tires mounted on my Jeep didn't have issues. The faulty tires couldn't be balanced, the manufacture stood behind their product and agreed to refund because of it. However, the retailer in question made it difficult every step of the way.

Thanks for your comment.
Jason is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2012, 01:24 PM   #7
richsandwich
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 197
So when you stored your jeep the problem never existed so how could the tires go bad just sitting there then? I'm glad you got your money back since we all know dealing with some places stinks when it comes to getting money back, but really what do you think caused the issue? Tires don't go out of balance just sitting there. I'm not trying to start anything just trying to be realistic and figure out what happened.
richsandwich is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2012, 02:06 PM   #8
Jason
Registered User
2005 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Eaton Rapids, Michigan
Posts: 6,369
I appreciate your comments, and don't take them as argumentative. The root cause of the tire issue is somewhat moot at this point, but there's certainly no harm in theorizing about potential causes just for the sake of discussion.

To clarify, the issues really began when I rotated the tires from rear to front. I did this around the same time I pulled my Jeep out of storage in the Spring. I did drive a little this Spring breaking in my gears before rotating the tires. There were no issues with DW, shimmies, or tire balance that I could feel. As soon as I rotated the rears to the front, I had the DW.

What I believe is likely is that the tires that were on the rear were defective and/or balanced poorly to begin with. Being that they were on the non-steering rear axle, I simply never felt it. After the first instances of DW, when I un-rotated my tires, putting them in their original place, the DW was gone again.

I assumed a simple re-balance would fix the issue, and at the time had no reason to think the tires couldn't be brought into balance, so I had the weight stripped off all four tires and balanced. Since that original set of weights were stripped off the front, they were never right again. The degree to which the steering wobbled varied based on the balance they tried and the position of the tires on the Jeep.
Jason is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2012, 03:02 PM   #9
richsandwich
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 197
Well that makes more sense. I'm a service manager in the automotive business and I enjoy trying to figure out difficult things. It gets old doing the same thing every day lol. Getting a refund should have never taken that long. Like my divisional Vice President said to me " it isn't coming out of your pocket just give the customer his money and make him happy" best advice I've ever heard
richsandwich is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2012, 03:30 PM   #10
phittie1100
Registered User
2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Burton, MI
Posts: 578
Quote:
Originally Posted by richsandwich View Post
Like my divisional Vice President said to me " it isn't coming out of your pocket just give the customer his money and make him happy" best advice I've ever heard
I like your VP's approach - wish more companies felt that way
__________________
Paul - 2005 Wrangler Unlimited
KD8PAV
phittie1100 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-14-2012, 05:40 PM   #11
Jason
Registered User
2005 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Eaton Rapids, Michigan
Posts: 6,369
Quote:
Originally Posted by richsandwich View Post
Well that makes more sense. I'm a service manager in the automotive business and I enjoy trying to figure out difficult things. It gets old doing the same thing every day lol. Getting a refund should have never taken that long. Like my divisional Vice President said to me " it isn't coming out of your pocket just give the customer his money and make him happy" best advice I've ever heard
Quote:
Originally Posted by phittie1100 View Post
I like your VP's approach - wish more companies felt that way
Thanks guys. That indeed is good advice. I enjoy a good puzzle, but it was down right frustrating trying to get these tires to behave. Add to that a retailer unwilling to help, it's all around a bad situation.
Jason is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-05-2013, 06:53 PM   #12
unlimiter
Registered User
2004 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: , MI
Posts: 107
I feel your pain dude, I am having the same tire experience with Belle tire, been over a year, and they have done everything to help, even 16 trips to them, and now they used balancing beads and it almost worked. I have the best riding jeep at q to 55, but when you hey 60 left wheel shakes. I am due to take it back again, and they have charged me nothing...at least they are trying...but I may end up exchanging tires as well, and I have it all documented. They even said the front end is solid all looks great....I wish you luck, its the Belle Tire in Dearborn...
__________________
[COLOR=blue][SIZE=2][B]2004 Unlimited Metallic Khaki[/B][/SIZE][/COLOR]
[SIZE=1][B]Sendel 15 X 8 Deep dish Chrome Wheels
Goodyear Dura 12.5 X 33
2" RE BB
Stock Dana 44 Rear
Stock Dana 35 Front
Rancho Steering Stabilizer
Soft Top / Hard top
6" Pocket Style Flares[/B][/SIZE]
unlimiter is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-06-2013, 06:44 AM   #13
Jason
Registered User
2005 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Eaton Rapids, Michigan
Posts: 6,369
Thanks for your comment, and bumping this back up.

Sixteen trips in one year -- wow -- that's a lot of trips. I would have been trying to exchange them long before that. However, it does seem that they are trying to work with you, and that's good. The difference in my case is that the retailer did next to nothing for me, offering me less than half of what my refund for the returned tires should have been without even following the manufacture's procedures until I called the manufacture myself.

Good luck with yours. Feel free to update here on how it turns out.
__________________
"Ugly Betty" Build - 97 TJ 5.9 Magnum / 46RE Swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashland82391 View Post
We're men! We don't need no stinkin directions!
Jason is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-10-2013, 02:12 PM   #14
unlimiter
Registered User
2004 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: , MI
Posts: 107
I sure will, I am due to go back next weekend if I don't work, Sat is the only day I can get down there for them to look at it again. Yes they have been very good and just as frustrated as I am, and even had me go to 2 other stores to try, so now they are looking at replacing the rim one at a time until they localize it. o cost to me.

Thanks for the well wishes
__________________
[COLOR=blue][SIZE=2][B]2004 Unlimited Metallic Khaki[/B][/SIZE][/COLOR]
[SIZE=1][B]Sendel 15 X 8 Deep dish Chrome Wheels
Goodyear Dura 12.5 X 33
2" RE BB
Stock Dana 44 Rear
Stock Dana 35 Front
Rancho Steering Stabilizer
Soft Top / Hard top
6" Pocket Style Flares[/B][/SIZE]
unlimiter is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 04-05-2013, 07:46 AM   #15
Jason
Registered User
2005 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Eaton Rapids, Michigan
Posts: 6,369
Quote:
Originally Posted by unlimiter View Post
I sure will, I am due to go back next weekend if I don't work, Sat is the only day I can get down there for them to look at it again. Yes they have been very good and just as frustrated as I am, and even had me go to 2 other stores to try, so now they are looking at replacing the rim one at a time until they localize it. o cost to me.

Thanks for the well wishes
Hey. I was scrolling down looking for something, and remembered this. What happened with your tires?
__________________
"Ugly Betty" Build - 97 TJ 5.9 Magnum / 46RE Swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashland82391 View Post
We're men! We don't need no stinkin directions!
Jason is offline   Reply With Quote




Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.